15 Misunderstood Acts The Bible Says Aren’t Actually Sins

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The Bible is a rich and complex text, filled with both clear commandments and nuanced passages. Sometimes, things that appear to be forbidden are actually not condemned by scripture. Here are 15 surprising things that the Bible doesn’t consider sins, helping us navigate our faith and daily lives with a clearer understanding.

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#1 Drinking Alcohol

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The Bible does caution against drunkenness, as it leads to a lack of self-control and destructive behavior. However, moderate consumption of alcohol is not explicitly condemned. In fact, wine is often mentioned in positive contexts, such as Jesus’ miracle at the wedding in Cana where he turned water into wine.

#2 Dancing

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Dancing is depicted in various biblical narratives as a form of celebration, worship, or expression of joy. For instance, King David danced before the Lord with all his might when the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem. While there may be cultural variations in how dancing is seen, it is not inherently sinful according to many interpretations of the Bible.

#3 Eating Certain Foods

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In the New Testament, particularly in the book of Acts and in the letters of Paul, there is an emphasis on the freedom Christians have from the dietary restrictions of the Old Testament law. Jesus himself declared all foods clean, indicating a shift away from the dietary regulations of the Old Covenant. This included foods that were previously considered unclean, such as pork and shellfish, which were forbidden in the Old Testament (Leviticus 11:7, Deuteronomy 14:8).

#4 Wearing Jewelry

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The Bible warns against vanity and caring too much about outward appearances. However, jewelry itself isn’t condemned. In some instances, it’s used symbolically, like the rings in the story of the prodigal son. So whether you wear a simple necklace or a special ring, it’s all about maintaining a healthy attitude towards adornment.

#5 Having Wealth

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The Bible doesn’t see wealth as inherently bad. But it strongly warns against loving money and pursuing it at the expense of good character and relationships. When wealth is acquired honestly and used to help others, it can be a blessing. The Bible encourages generosity, responsible stewardship, and concern for the less fortunate.

#6 Getting Tattoos

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While the Old Testament prohibits marking one’s body, interpretations vary on whether this applies to modern tattoos. Some argue that the context of the prohibition was related to pagan rituals and should not be applied strictly today. Others suggest that since Christians are under the New Covenant, they are not bound by the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament.

#7 Charging Interest on Loans

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While the Bible condemns taking advantage of the poor with excessive interest rates, lending with interest under certain circumstances isn’t explicitly forbidden. In fact, Jesus spoke positively about wise financial management and investment in some parables. Responsible lending practices that benefit both parties are generally viewed as acceptable.

#8 Being Angry

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The Bible acknowledges that anger is a natural human emotion, but it also warns against allowing anger to lead to sin. Ephesians 4:26 advises to “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” This suggests that anger itself is not inherently sinful, but rather it’s how one responds to and manages that anger that matters.

#9 Being Single

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The Bible portrays singleness as a valid and fulfilling way of life. Jesus himself remained unmarried and emphasized the value of dedicating oneself fully to God’s work, even if it means putting aside marriage and family. The Apostle Paul also spoke about the advantages of singleness for those called to spread the gospel. While marriage is seen as a beautiful thing, singleness is not a lesser option according to the Bible.

#10 Working on the Sabbath

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Interpretations of Sabbath observance vary among different Christian denominations. While the Old Testament commands strict Sabbath observance for the Israelites, Jesus challenged some of the legalistic interpretations of Sabbath laws, emphasizing the principle of doing good and showing mercy on the Sabbath.

#11 Wearing Makeup

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The Bible doesn’t explicitly forbid makeup use. Some interpretations focus on the warnings against vanity and excessive focus on outward appearance. Others view makeup as a form of self-expression and adornment that can be done modestly and tastefully. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to wear makeup is a personal one.

#12 Divorce in Certain Circumstances

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While divorce is generally discouraged in the Bible, there are exceptions, such as cases of adultery or abandonment, where it may be permitted. Jesus himself acknowledged the reality of divorce but emphasized the sanctity and permanence of marriage. Jesus’ teachings on divorce emphasize the gravity of the decision to dissolve a marriage and call believers to approach marriage with a commitment to love, honor, and cherish one another for life.

#13 Having Doubts or Questions

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The Bible encourages believers to seek understanding and wisdom, which may involve asking questions and wrestling with doubts. Throughout the Bible, there are numerous examples of individuals questioning God or seeking clarification on matters of faith, like Abraham (Genesis 15:8) and even Jesus’ disciples (Mark 4:40). Doubts can be an opportunity for deeper growth and a stronger relationship with God.

#14 Self-Defense

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While the Bible teaches non-violence and turning the other cheek in many contexts, it also acknowledges the right to self-defense in certain situations. For instance, Exodus 22:2-3 describes scenarios where individuals are justified in defending themselves, their families, and their property against attackers.

#15 Having Non-Christian Friends

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While the Bible emphasizes the importance of surrounding yourself with believers who will encourage your faith, it doesn’t condemn having friends of other faiths or no faith at all. In fact, Jesus himself interacted with people from all walks of life, including those who didn’t share his beliefs. The key is to choose friends who uplift you and with whom you can share positive influences.

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Hasthi Wand

Hasthi is a writer with nearly a decade of experience in editing, proofreading, and creating content on a variety of topics, including language, literature, travel, food, digital marketing, health, and wellness. In her free time, she enjoys reading novels, watching movies, and exploring new places.